⊕ REVOLT AGAINST THE MODERN WORLD ⊕
The Cycles of Decadence and the Heroic Cycle
We finally arrive at one of the larger chapters in which Julius Evola makes a brief recap while revealing the grander scheme of everything he has been speaking until that point. The cycles of decadence refer to the stages that took place after that legendary Golden Age when man and culture, at least that of the Hyperborean, was complete, unified and transcendent. A wordless apprehension of the cosmos and a will to action that only in later ages became abstracted and codified in myths and elaborations made in order to maintain what did not come naturally anymore.
“Fate or the twilight (rok) of the gods takes place with the collapse of the Bitfrost bridge that connects Heaven and earth.”
In Foot Note: “bridge collapses when the sons of Muspell step on it. The lord of Muspell is Surtr, who comes from the south to battle the Aesir.”
Furthermore, as the primordial traditions branch out, change through time and mix with Southern traditions, its symbols see transpositions and meanings are twisted or perceived differently. For instance, the transition of the Light Wolf to the Dark Wolf, so to call them, reflects the degeneration of an older cult —or perhaps a myth evolving to suit the times.
“The wolf was associated with Apollo and with the light (lykos, lyke), not only among the Hellens, but also among the Celts.”
“The wolf — in the Nordic tradition — that was related to the primordial warrior element takes on a negative meaning when this element loses control and becomes unleashed.”
—Julius Evola, Revolt Against the Modern World, p. 221
While the Golden Age is said to be the only age when true regality took place (perhaps that warrior-philosopher / guardian Plato described in The Republic), and the Silver Age is then defined by the usurpation of the priestly case of some of the ruling powers of the divine kingship, pushing the latter aside, leaving them with only the more mundage tasks and in a somewhat subservient role. The Bronze Age then sees the revolt of the warrior caste rising by the power of raw strength.
This third age sees the rise of several different types of civilizations arise and coexist within a certain time period. Evola provides us with an outline of the civilizations that developed after the Primordial one from the first age (of “virile spirituality”, as the author tells us). Part of this degeneration in the third age degrades both the masculine and the feminine to their more brute and sexual aspects, instead of their original, more comprehensive origins and understanding.
The six types of civilizations and tradition that came after the primordial one (the Golden Age). These are:
- Demetrian: representing the pure Southern Light (the Silver Age, Atlantic cycle societies ruled by a priestly caste).
- Aphroditism: as a degenerated version of the Demetrian. [frequent associations between Aphrodistic goddesses and violent and brutally warlike divine figures.]
- Amazonism: which was a deviated attempt at lunar restoration. [The Amazons, who had usurped the Hyperborean battle-axe, came to the rescue of Venus’ city, Troy, against the Acheans; they were eventually exterminated by another hero, Heracles, the rescuer of Prometheus. Heracles grabbed from their queen the symbolic belt of Ares-Mars and the axe (λαβρύς) that was the symbole of the supreme power of the Lydian dynasty of the Heraclideans.]
- Titanism: in a different, almost Luciferian context, which was a degeneration of the Northern Light —the Bronze Age, age of warriors and giants. [male without divine element —the Nephilim — materialistic and violent. Cain?]
- Dionysism: as a deviated and emasculated masculine spirituality generation passive and promiscuous forms of ecstasis. [p. 224 Footnote: the highest possibility of Dionysian principle was upheld in the Indo-Aryan myth of the soma, a heavenly and lunar principle that induces a divine intoxication (mada) and that is related to the regal animal, the eagle, and with a struggle against female demons.]
- Heroism: as the restoration of the Olympian-solar spirituality and the overcoming of both the Mother and the Titan figures. [Hesiod called this lineage the race of ‘heroes’ to whom it is given the possibility of attaining immortality and partaking, despite all, in a state similar to that of the primordial age.]
It is interesting that Evola mentions a passage from the Bible in which a time of “heroes and giants” dominated. He explains that the essence of both of these is the same, but that their triumph or failure to transcend is what defines them as one or the other.
“not all ‘heroes’ become immortal by escaping Hades; this is the fate of only some of them (…) The heroes who become immortal are those whose adventure succeeds; in other words, they correspond to those who are really capable of overcoming, thanks to an inner impulse towards transcendence.” —pp. 224-225
“Lordship over the origins; not to be the original force but to possess it; the quality of the αύτοϕυής [to be a light unto oneself] and of the αύτοτέλεστος [to have oneself as an end], in which the Hellas was often associated with the heroic ideal.”